After vegetables, fruits and meat, this is another food that should be introduced in the first year of life. Fish provides the body with valuable vitamins, minerals and fatty acids needed to support proper development.
Aquatic inhabitants are a source of healthy, easily digestible protein and fat. If saturated fats predominate in animal meat, then in fish they are mostly unsaturated (mono- and polyunsaturated), including omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, the inhabitants of the water element supply us with fat-soluble vitamins (A, D) and minerals (iodine, fluorine, potassium, phosphorus) in a fairly large amount.
Fish for the first meal
Lenten (perch, cod, hake) or oily (salmon, halibut, herring, mackerel) freshwater and marine fish are suitable for dating. More valuable is fatty fish containing omega-3 acids.
Omega-3 helps to strengthen the immune system, brain maturation, prevents the development of hypertension and atherosclerosis.
It is not recommended to give a child pangasius – this species is very often caught from polluted waters containing toxic substances. You should also avoid such a species as oily (escolar or delicacy mackerel, pampanito, Australian seriolella). Butterfish was banned for consumption back in Soviet times, and in Japan it was recognized as poisonous, which, unfortunately, does not apply to sellers who present it as a delicious delicacy. Meanwhile, it leads to indigestion when cooked incorrectly, and by affecting the immature gastrointestinal tract of a child, it can cause food poisoning.
How to choose a fish
When buying, pay attention to the smell – it cannot be sharp or unpleasant. The gills of fresh fish are without mucus and are red in color, the fins are flexible, if you run your hand over the scales, it does not separate from the skin. Fish must be from a trusted source, give preference to large stores selling products with quality and safety certificates. If you are not sure of its origin, purchase a small breed – it contains less harmful substances than a large one.
Predatory centenarians (pike, cod, sea bass) are under the question of safety; on average, their fillets contain more harmful substances than herbivores. Smoked and salted, canned fish and crab sticks, which may contain artificial additives and carcinogens, are prohibited for children under three years of age.
When to introduce fish to the first feeding
The age recommended by experts is 6 months, but this period depends on the introduction of other products. You can enter it only after the baby has become acquainted with vegetables and meat. At the beginning of the introduction, the fish is crushed and given 2 teaspoons, after a couple of days it is offered again in the same amount. If there is no rash or abdominal pain, food is gradually increased to 100 grams per serving for a child of one year. The regularity of the appearance of fish on the table – 2 times a week.
It is recommended to introduce from a lean type with a weak specific flavor (cod, pike, trout), after a month you can get acquainted with a fatter one (for example, salmon). Since fish protein is one of the food allergens, do not introduce any other new food, this will help to assess how the body reacts to fish meat. If a child refuses a new food, reschedule dating for another week or later, some babies instinctively avoid foods that can harm them, such as causing allergies.
How does allergy manifest itself?
According to the latest data, fish protein allergy affects 3-7% of children, this risk increases if the child’s close relatives have it. Symptoms are similar to standard reactions to other foods. In the worst case scenario, the child’s face may develop smallpox-like rashes – this is called allergic eczema, which occurs in 40% of allergy-prone children. Sometimes, the child suffers from colic, loose stools and vomiting appear. Once you notice these signs, stop introducing fish and contact your pediatrician.